As world economies shift, the reliance on technological innovation to drive growth becomes more and more important. Development models suggest that one of the most effective methods of capturing and nurturing innovation into practical technologies is through the use of business and technology incubators.
Incubators, which in the early stages give support to entrepreneurs in the form of reduced expenses (subsidized rent, equipment, etc), shared knowledge and use of administrative functions (legal, accounting, etc), as well as business counseling (planning, management, marketing, etc), first came into use in the United Kingdom and Germany in the 1980s, later becoming a tool for economic development used by the EU in the 1990s. Today, there are over 900 business incubators in the EU and about 250 incubators in transitional countries.
Incubators, such as the type being established in Belgrade , are often connected to research universities and are the natural link between academic research and its application in small and medium sized businesses.